Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lock the doors, get a dog...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas

First off I'll tell you about the painting, and then I'll tell you about the title of this posting.

Paco hasn't changed in days, but the background is becoming exactly that. Background. Looking at it tonight with Paco's owner Terri, I mentioned how things need to go darker back there. As a fellow artist she agreed, which always makes me happy to hear confirmation of my ideas/decisions from other artists. Early in the day I didn't think it needed to go too much darker, but now I think it needs to go about 20% darker. It's time consuming painting this way, but the results make it well worth it.

Now to describe the title of the posting.

Yesterday morning started the way our normal mornings start with Zephyr waking us up. The difference was that he woke us by barking. Barking at the door to my studio, which is about 10 feet from our bedroom door. 

Using our usual command to get him quite and to lay back down wasn't working, and since Corrine had just finished in the bathroom she poked her head out to see why he wouldn't stop barking. "Brian! I think there's someone in the house!!!" "What?" I said.

So I too popped out of bed to see what was what. Sure enough there was someone in my studio, and it was a woman I'd never scene before. She looked really nervous, which really didn't put me at ease, but I had a big barking dog next to me so I was a little more secure than she was.

I cracked the door and asked "Can I help you?"Which prompted her to ask what my name was. "My name? What's your name, and what are you doing here in our house?" She told me her name very slowly, and then I saw she had brought a pair of our hedge trimmers into the studio with her. Most of you are probably thinking "Oh my God, she's armed!" but the reality was that she wasn't holding them. She had set them down before I had even come to the door. I was thinking "Oh no, those are resting against a canvas I'm working on. It could be denting it." 

Luckily for her sake they didn't leave a mark. I gently and slowly reached for them and put them inside the kitchen, and Zephyr and I slipped into the studio with her and I closed the door behind me. She then reassured me that she wasn't violent, but she was very cold and had been trying to keep herself warm in our bushes out back. 

My first impulse was to call the police, but the more I saw how nervous she was, I thought it might be a better choice to call Mayday, a local place that helps victims of abuse. She didn't have any physical signs of abuse, but she kept repeating that she didn't or couldn't every go back there. She also wanted to know if I knew certain people and how long we had lived here. 

One of the people she was asking about worked at Mayday, so I suggested we give them a call. She thought that was okay, so I went and got our phone, and closed her back in the studio. Corrine was watching from the other room, ready to dial 911 if necessary. I was hoping it wouldn't come to that, but at this point I wasn't sure what would happen, so I kept a close eye on her, and all her movements.

I got a hold of a woman on the crisis line, who was willing to come and get the her or just talk to her on the phone. The woman in my studio wasn't ready to do that yet. She wanted to talk to a specific woman at Mayday who wouldn't be in the office for another hour and a half. Not cool. Not cool for me either. I had planned to go running, but I sure wasn't going to leave this lady in my house.

One reason besides the fact I didn't know her, was she kept mentioning how her kidney's might shut down. No, no, no, not in my studio. After asking the Mayday worker to get in touch with the person that this lady knew I hung up the phone and sat there with Mystery Woman.

"Would you like to call someone?" I asked, because she had started to go through the phone book, jotting down particle phone numbers. "Yes I would" So I dialed the number Mystery Woman wrote down for me and handed her the phone. "Hello" she said to the person on the other end of the phone very slowly, and strangely I should add. Which didn't seem to phase the person at all. Well, not until, she started talking, in what seemed to me as code. "It's DONE, it's done." Said Mystery Woman "And I'm never going back." 

Now I was starting to get nervous. Did this woman kill her husband, and has she been wondering around since then trying to decide what to do next? Then she told the woman she was talking to not to tell her husband or anyone where she was. Then we heard a police siren. "Maybe my house is burning down now?" Her friend was now starting to get confused, and started to ask questions that were upsetting Mystery Woman so she hung up and handed the phone back to me.

The phone rang and we both jumped. Mayday was calling back to let me know she could get ahold of the person Mystery Woman was looking for. Did we want to get ahold of someone else or did she want to go down to the office and talk? "No" Mystery Woman responded, she wanted to talk to a woman from the hospital now instead. So once again I hung up the phone and sat there with Mystery Woman, as she wrote incomplete sentences and phone numbers on a piece of paper. Harmless, but my heart rate was still elevated. Who needs to go on a 3 mile run when you have a stranger in your house?

When Mayday called back the news wasn't good. The workers from the hospital weren't on duty. Great. Who else could we get in touch with for her? Mystery Woman asked for someone else, and also agreed that we could try talking to the police. YES!

I dial the non-emergency line and got dispatch on the phone. When I tell them that I have Mystery Lady sitting with me the dispatch officer gets very excited, and wants to know where we are, and if Mystery Woman is safe so they can take her home. No, no, no she indicated by shaking her head. "Tell them Mayday, Mayday" So I tell, the officer that no matter what she doesn't want to go home, that she will go to Mayday, but she's said over and over again since she's been in my studio, she never wants to go back there and be a caregiver. The officer reassures me that she won't be taken home and that an officer will be sent to our house, but first we'll be called by them. Great.

Ten seconds later, the phone rings and without looking at the caller ID, I answer it. "Is Mystery Woman there? Is my wife there? Do have my wife there?" "Um, I don't know what you're talking about." I say. "My friend, gave me this number and said my wife just called her from THIS NUMBER." I repeated I didn't know what he was talking about, and hung up the phone. The whole time Mystery Woman was shaking her head muttering "I knew it, I knew it"

30 seconds go by and the phone rings again. F#@*! Her irate husband is calling back. On the plus side, she didn't murder him. This time I check the caller ID, the number looks familiar. Mayday, calling again. Whew! Unfortunately, unable to reach this latest requested person. Then the dogs start barking. The police must be here. As I continue to talk with the woman from Mayday the dogs barking turns vicious, and Corrine screams for my help. I hand the phone over to Mystery Woman and dash to the dinning room where Zephyr is trying to protect himself from the crazed Bettini who's repeatedly lunging for his throat. Plus, there's a man I've never seen before on our front porch. Is that her husband. WTF.

Once the dogs are safely separated and I keep all my fingers, I open the front door to a man that identifies himself as a dectetive. Oh really? Can I see your badge please? Which he promptly shows me. I quickly lead him to Mystery Lady, and then leave the two of them alone in my studio. Feed the dogs, and quickly get dressed.

As Mystery Lady peacefully leaves with the  police she inform me that she dropped her NASCAR lighter in our bushes while trying to keep herself warm. Thankfully she didn't burn herself and the bushes up. She also tells the officer that she left a note in our garage behind a rake, and this is my only real regret of the whole event. I handed the note over without reading it. What was on that paper?

By the way this was the long short version of the story. See me in person and I'll fill in the gaps.


p.s. all of the doors are locked now, every night. No more hanging out in our garage Mystery Anyone.


Don Gray said...

Holy moly! Of course I'll want to hear the rest of the story from you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. That's just crazy! I used to never, ever lock my doors because I have enormous dogs. All a stranger would have to do is step in an enormous pile of poop to realize that. But then I kept thinking, "What if they attack someone who wanders in?" just as in your situation. Maybe a drunk guy or someone needing help... Max would kill them! Good to leave your doors locked, eh? Wow.

Dogs by Bri said...


I'll gladly fill you in tomorrow. I'm not sure of my schedule, because I'm working with Katherine at 1 pm and then off to EOU. I think it might work to swing by on my way home.

Call you tomorrow.


Dogs by Bri said...

Wow, is right Kina. Tell Whitey, I'll be stopping by Paizano's around 9:30 AM tomorrow, because I need a couple of boxes for paintings I'm sending to Portland.

They are going to the cafe at Sniff Dog Hotel. Cool eh? I just don't have any boxes here that will keep them safe and clean until the cafe hangs them.

Great pizza and boxes to protect artwork. What more could a person ask for.


reginag said...

Im intruiged with the issue. Want to know some more.

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